Plastic film recycler Plastic Forests has been selected as one of Westpac’s 200 Businesses of Tomorrow, marking itself out as one of a select group of businesses shaping Australia’s future. It is the only environmentally focused business to be placed in the list’s top 20 companies.

Plastic Forests is said to be the only company in the world able to dry-clean and recycle heavily contaminated plastic film on an industrial scale, saving it from being dumped in landfill. Plastic film is notoriously difficult to recycle at the best of times, with around 250,000 tonnes going to landfill every year just on the east coast of Australia alone.

Plastic Forests’ proprietary technology enables contaminants such as food, metal and microcontaminants to be cleaned from plastic film without using water, before being recycled into high-value products like cable cover and garden edging. According to the managing director, David Hodge (pictured), this enables Australian food manufacturers and agriculture to divert thousands of tonnes of dirty plastic film used in their production process away from landfill and into sustainable new products.

“Recycling this problematic plastic helps our customers meet their environmental ‘zero waste to landfill’ goals, often for the first time anywhere in the world,” said Hodge.

Plastic Forests’ goal is ‘to keep plastic as plastic, at its highest level’, re-using this valuable resource either as resin or end products. The company is currently investing in a new supersite in Albury, NSW, in order to significantly ramp up its operational capability.

“Plastic Forests has been selected as a Westpac Business of Tomorrow because it is significantly impacting Australia’s communities and environment, and facilitating sustainable business practices,” said David Lindberg, judge and chief executive, Westpac Business Bank.

“With a clear vision for growth in Australia and overseas, Plastic Forests is continuing to address global sustainability issues.”